Is my stomach supposed to be lumpy and dented in at the belly button? (photos)

I'm 7 months post op from my tummy tuck. I have a dent where my belly button is and I'm still very swollen in my upper stomach and lower stomach. Will this straighten itself out or will I need more work? Any suggestions on what to do to look normal? Can my waist be more defined? My dr said there's nothing else he can do but I got a quote from his partner that says I need more lipo. I'm so confused!

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling can be significant even seven months after an abdominoplasty.

It's difficult to comment on your particular circumstance from the photographs provided. However abdominoplasty is a fairly extensive operation in final resolution can take even longer than seven months. As long as you are improving month-to-month I would suggest remaining patient.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews



Thank you for your question and photos. At this point post op your swelling should be almost completely resolved so remaining bulges could be suitable for liposuction. I recommend that you discuss your options with the Plastic Surgeon who provided you that quote.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Tummytuck Revision

While physical exam is optimal, your photos demonstrate possible need for minor revision, like liposuction in those areas that are still full. Talk to your surgeon for recommendations. Good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews


You might benefit from some additional lipo in the puffy areas and this can be performed around 10 months after the original procedure. Sometimes a bit of lipo can help shape some areas of residual fullness 

David R. Alfonso, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Is my stomach supposed to be lumpy and dented in at the belly button?

Thank you for your question and series of photographs and I am sorry that your results have not been what you anticipated. It is difficult without an in-person examination to determine what may be taking place.  Your current appearance may be the result of residual swelling from surgery which will spontaneously resolve but it would be important to voice your concerns to your surgeon to ensure that other issues are not taking place - discrete fluid collection, muscle laxity, or residual adipose tissue.  If unhappy with your results, consider a second/third opinion from outside of your current practice. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Lumpy and Dented Stomach after Tummy Tuck

Dear Yayababy,

Thank you for your pictures.  There may be several reasons for your abdominal contour including but not limited to swelling, residual weakness of tummy muscles, fat and/or internal fat (around organs).  I may be wise to seek opinions from plastic surgeons outside of this practice to get best options.

Good luck.

Post-Op Swelling and Dented Navel

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

With the difficulty of this length of post-op healing and the swelling that can persist, you should be able to help reduce swelling a little with ice or sitz bath or other basic procedures such as massaging the area gently. If you find yourself concerned or worried about your healing procedure, then it would be good to visit your surgeon and have the area examined  to make sure all is going well. Good luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.